K-12 National Standards for Quality Online Courses, Teaching and Programs Set To Be Revised

PRESS RELEASE: March 5, 2018

Quality Matters (QM) and the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA) are proud to announce a new partnership between QM and the VLLA to revise the National Standards for Quality Online Courses, Online Teaching and Online Programs, building upon the work started by The International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL).

The purpose of the National Standards for Quality revision initiative is to provide the K-12 online and blended learning community with an updated set of openly licensed standards to help evaluate and improve online courses, online teaching and online programs.

“We are excited to start the revision work and continue to build upon the tradition iNACOL established of an inclusive approach in reviewing, national benchmarking and enhancing the standards,” said Butch Gemin, representing the VLLA. “The last revision of these standards was done in 2011. This creates another opportunity to bring online learning leaders together to share their expertise and passion,” Gemin said. “We look forward to providing educators a relevant set of standards they can use to fit the unique needs of their programs, while at the same time, providing consistent benchmarks for quality.”

Work will begin in February of 2018, with a goal of completing the National Standards for Quality Online Teaching and Online Programs revision in fall of 2018, and the National Standards for Quality Online Courses in the fall of 2019.

Both organizations are committed to a continuous improvement cycle for all three sets of standards for online learning, and to a common philosophy that standards in such a dynamic area as digital learning must be updated regularly to provide a useful benchmark for schools, districts, statewide programs and commercial suppliers of online and blended learning.

“Educators are working so hard to provide equitable alternative learning experiences for all students,” said Christine Voelker, QM’s K-12 Program Director. “By bringing the National Standards up to current standards of quality we are helping schools and districts provide the supports they need to help students succeed.“

For more information, please contact Butch Gemin at butch.gemin@opencircleprojects.com or Christine Voelker at cvoelker@qualitymatters.org.

About Quality Matters
Quality Matters (QM) is an international non-profit organization (qualitymatters.org) that provides tools and professional development for quality assurance in online and blended learning, continuously revised to reflect the most current research and best practice. When you see QM Certification Marks on courses or programs, it means they have met QM Course Design Standards or QM Program Review criteria in a rigorous review process.

About the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance
The Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA) is an association of chief executives from some of the most innovative online learning programs in the US (virtuallearningalliance.org). It provides collegial support and collaborative opportunities to member organizations to share resources, services, and expertise. Each year the Leadership Alliance chiefs and staff explore topics critical to providing their district and school partners with quality online and blended learning services by examining current research, documenting best practices, helping to define quality in online courses and teaching, and examining trends in digital learning. The VLLA is a 501c3 educational nonprofit organization that includes Georgia Virtual School, Idaho Digital Learning, Illinois Virtual School, Indiana Online, Michigan Virtual, Montana Digital Academy, New Mexico Blended Learning Bureau, Nevada Learning Academy, North Carolina Virtual Public School, Virtual Arkansas, The Virtual High School, VirtualSC, Virtual Virginia, Wisconsin eSchool Network and Wisconsin Virtual School.

About the North Carolina Virtual Public School
NCVPS is the nation’s second largest state-led virtual school with over 55,000 enrollments from all 115 school districts and many charter schools. NCVPS offers over 150 different courses as a supplement to the local high school course catalog and includes Advanced Placement, Occupational Course of Study, electives, traditional, honors, credit recovery, intervention, and flex learning courses. Certified North Carolina instructors teach all NCVPS courses and provide strategies for active student engagement through a variety of technology tools. Teachers are required to make personal contact with students and parents regularly to maximize the student-teacher relationship. Courses are free to students who enroll through their local North Carolina school. NCVPS is available to home school and private school students for a small fee. By virtue of online course delivery, students now have access to rigorous courses and high-quality teachers regardless of ZIP code.